Real Shopping: Is it worth it... White shirts
Anna Nathanson is a freelance journalist with an interest in social issues and music. She covers a wide range of topics, including the care system, gun crime, child sex abuse, women's interest, LGBT issues and racism. Anna also has a strong background in the entertainment industry, which includes several years working at BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, and interviews with artists such as Nas, Jessie J, Usher, Lianne La Havas and Plan B, for outlets including MTV and the Huffington Post. www.annanathanson.tumblr.com
Sunday 07 March 1999
"There are whites, and whites. The finer and denser the weave, the whiter the cloth; a main price determinant," says Michael Booth, chairman of Milditch and Key. Made from 100 per cent Egyptian cotton, the Pink shirt has a very fine weave. The result - a brilliantly white cloth that's silky against the skin.
Purpose determines worth in terms of cut. For close-tailored jacket shirts, bespoke is unbeatable. For looser, "shirt-sleeve"-style, a straight-cut, off-the-peg is adequate. Pink's box-cut benefits from generous sizing. Back panel darts offer comfort to broad-shouldered men which cheaper shirts with less material may lack. Shirt tails - the obvious place to cut costs - are long. The semi-cutaway collar is deep, yet classically unobtrusive; with stays that ensure perky shape-retention. Double cuffs are single- stitched three times for durability, and offer two optional cuff lengths plus two sleeve lengths.
The truth is that M&S's pounds 20 Essential White Cotton Shirt compares favourably, with a range of collars, cuffs and sleeve lengths. Only shirt-snobs would invest so heavily in the halfway-house to bespoke. For them, the Sea Island Quality Shirt offers a shade more tailoring quality, at a price just the right side of painful.
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